Spring has finally arrived. Gone are the cold, snowy days of winter and entering are the warmer, sunny days of spring. And with the arrival of spring, summer and the summer hard rock festivals are right around the corner. Rock festivals are the best way to enjoy some of your favorite bands all at once without breaking the bank. The only challenge is deciding which festival to attend. For this edition of Vie’s Verses, I’ve outlined some of the most promising festivals of 2011 both in the USA and Europe (for you world travelers).
For those fans that are a little more daring, or just wish to see another country while they enjoy their metal, Europe has some great rock festivals to attend. Below are the two most popular festivals. They are also the two with the hottest lineups in rock.
Download Festival – June 10th – June 12th
Taking place in Donington Park, UK, Download Festival is a world renowned metal fest. Every year, Download is able to secure some of the biggest names in rock and this year is no exception. With acts like Def Leppard, Alter Bridge, System Of A Down, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine, Linkin Park, Black Stone Cherry, The Gaslight Anthem, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, and Twisted Sister gracing the stage, Download simply rocks. Ticket packages are available that include camping for 5 nights and access to all three days of the concert starting at 190 pounds, which is roughly 380 American dollars. If you plan on visiting the UK this summer, early June would be the perfect time to attend.
Wacken – August 4th – August 6th
If you haven’t already obtained your tickets for this festival, then all I can say is good luck. Wacken is officially sold out, but tickets can be found through various ticket broker sites across the internet. Taking place in Schleswig Holstein, Germany for the past 20 years, Wacken is one of the most well known international metal festivals in existence. This year’s bands on the bill include: Airborne, Bullet, Crashdiet, Helloween, Iced Earth, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Sepultura, and Suicidal Tendencies. If you like British or Swedish heavy metal, this is the one place where you can see a lot of those bands. Since this festival is officially sold out (for the sixth year in a row) ticket prices can range anywhere from just over face value to ridiculously insane.
If travelling abroad is not your thing, there are plenty of great festivals to attend right here in the good old United States of America. Below are some of the most well known and popular spring/summer rock fests for 2011.
M3 Festival – May 13th – May 14th
The M3 Festival is a hair metal lover’s delight. Taking place in Columbia, Maryland, M3 is in its third year and just keeps getting better and better. The lineup this year includes Kix, LA Guns, Warrant, Hurtsmile, Faster Pussycat, Mr. Big, Slaughter, Sebastian Bach, Tesla, and Whitesnake. Tickets can be purchased for an affordable $45 for lawn seats. Seats in the amphitheater go for $95, and for those wanting to get the whole VIP experience, VIP tickets are available for $195. With so many great bands on the bill, this is the festival to attend if you love hair metal.
Rock On The Range – May 21st – May 22nd
Celebrating their fifth year of rocking the masses at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, Rock On The Range is a modern rock lover’s dream festival. No classic or hair metal bands are featured here. Rock On The Range only brings the new rock. Acts that are performing this year include: Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Pop Evil, Hinder, Black Label Society, Alter Bridge, Staind, Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, and A Perfect Circle. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and cost between $100 – $130 before fees. Single day tickets can be had for $60 – $70 before fees. If modern rock is your thing, then Rock On The Range is your festival.
Rocklahoma – May 27th – May 29th
Rocklahoma is celebrating their fifth year of entertaining hard rock fans in Pryor, Oklahoma. What started out as one of the best hair metal festivals in existence has recently morphed into a hair metal/modern rock fest. While last year’s bill was not so solid, this year’s offering more than makes up for it. With featured acts Motley Crue, Poison, Whitesnake, Staind, Black Label Society, Papa Roach, Hinder, Skillet, and Pop Evil all performing, this looks to be one fine weekend for music lovers. Granted, there are a lot of bands on the bill that I never heard of, but there are a lot of bands on the bill that are exceptional. Camping is available on site and ticket prices for this festival range from $139 for general admission to $350 for VIP. For a three-day event, those are decent prices.
Rock Fest – July 14th – July 17th
Rock fest has been around for 18 years. Taking place in Cadott, Wisconsin, this festival mixes hard rock acts both old and new. This is a great festival for fans of multiple metal genres. This year’s acts include Avenged Sevenfold, Hinder, Kid Rock, Cinderella, Slaughter, Three Days Grace, Rob Zombie, Saliva, Seether, Tesla, Heart, and Def Leppard. Tickets are a little pricey compared with other summer festivals, but with the bands on this bill, the entertainment value is high. General admission tickets go for $155, while reserved seating is $250, and the all access VIP experience is $500.
Rock USA – July 14th – July 16th
Solid rock. No Limits. That is the slogan for Rock USA, the rock music festival being held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. There are definitely some solid rock bands on the bill for this fest. Featured acts include: Journey, Cheap Trick, Puddle Of Mudd, Buckcherry, Warrant, Dokken, Korn, and festival headliners, Kiss. If you purchase your tickets prior to May 6th, a three-day pass can be had for $79. After May 6th, the price increases to $129. The early bird gets the discount. Rock USA offers a multitude of VIP packages that range between $89 – $329, if purchased by May 6th. Prices for the VIP packages spike after that date. With a mix of classic and modern bands, Rock USA looks to be a great summer metal festival.
And there you have it—full information for some of the greatest rock festivals of 2011. Which ones are you planning to attend?
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Check out the clip “Dance” from the Finland’s R.O.C.K. This is from the band’s new album, Mirror Ball & Red Lights.